Maybe these notes will help someone else in their trip:
1) Les Fables de la Fontaine (http://www.leviolondingres.com/)
It is part of a group of 3 restaurants owned by the same chef. This one specializes in seafood only. Violon d’Ingres is a one star restaurant, and Café Constant is a lower priced restaurant (no reservations accepted). For Fables and Violon I would definitely recommend making a reservation or plan on eating after 9:30PM.
We split an order of 6 oysters for appetizer; this was expensive but ultra fresh. The oysters were of a variety we didn’t see at US. They are not listed by the variety/type, but rather the grower. It tasted like a cross between blue point (salty/metallic) at the first bite and Kumamoto (sweet) aftertaste.
I had a bacon crusted sea bass on a bed of green peas. It tasted meaty and savory at once. It was the best dish out of the 3 we had. My husband had some sort of mild white fish, and my son had crawfish raviolis (appetizer size). Chef went a little overboard with foam as all three dishes had some sort of creamy foam on them, but they all tasted different – so maybe it’s just a garnish.
I had the wild strawberries (they are thimble sized) with cream and my husband a parfait of chocolate, peaches and I think pistachio. Wild strawberries were out of this world and for once the play with foam worked on the parfait. The three layers had 3 different densities with the chocolate at the bottom being the heaviest. This really makes a great texture as well as a taste sensation.
I think 2 appetizers, 2 entrees, 2 desserts and a glass of wine was $150. It’s probably one of the best meals I had in the past 10 years.
2) Chez Denise
Mentioned in Anthony Bourdain’s show and it’s a classic bistro near Les Halles. We had a reservation but if you come before 7:30PM I don’t think it’s necessary. Closed weekends.
We ordered 2 dishes to share – steak with fries, and a veal stew in tomato sauce (sautéed veal in basilic) with penne. Both were very good and plentiful. The veal was fall apart tender. We also had ½ bottle of the Boudreaux (12 euros).
I think the total damage was $60.
3) Jean Millet (http://www.adelynlee.com/blog/?p=287)
Is a patisserie in the 7th Arr that has inside table/seats. They also appear to sell salads as well. We had 2 coffees, a pan chocolat (chocolate croissant), a regular croissant and a cannele there. The croissants were ultra buttery and flakey, and well worth a visit if you feel like a snack or a light lunch. It was like 15 euros.
4) Atelier Joel Robuchon
I can’t resist trying a Robuchon restaurant, and when I found out that one can do a quick lunch here I made an 11:30AM reservation. Actually as it turns out no reservation during that time was really needed.
The food was good, and the service was OK. We got a foie gras, a smoked salmon plate, a sardine/tomato appetizer, a white fish entrée, and a suckling pig chop entrée. All of it comes with a bit of the famous potato puree that is so heavy with butter that it goes straight to your veins. The food wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t as good as Fables. I wasn’t feeling well so abandoned the plan to get the Chartreuse soufflé.
Final tab with a glass of wine is $150.
5) Bon Marche’s food department was something else. It’s in a separate building and has quite a selection of foie gras, teas, and chocolates. Their regular department store across the street has high end items, more like Saks in quality. Very good selection of umbrellas if you are willing to cough up 60-100 euros.
Is a famed patisserie selling the macaroons, which is a sandwich of 2 almond/egg based pastry with a cream filling. Many branches in Paris, and we ended up waiting about ½ hour to get our order. We found the macaroons way too sweet, and not really worth it.
7) Jean Paul Hevin
They have all things chocolate – bars, bonbons, and macaroons. We liked their chocolate-honey and chocolate-bergamot macaroons.
8) Michel Cluizel
Chocolates again; they have a branch in NYC. Their chocolate bars are also available at Bon Marche Food store. Their chocolate candies were very good as well.
9) Betjeman and Barton
I got hooked on this tea when I got a can at Williams-Sonoma and was never able to find it again in the USA. This time we really loaded up on their teas, especially Les Classiques (Vanilla/Caramel).
A restaurant and shop that specializes on all things terrine, especially goose or duck foie gras in the 7th arr.
Yes, we had to have ice cream at the most famous ice cream place in Paris. We walked to their main branch near Notre Dame and got 3 flavors – chocolate-orange, salty caramel and vanilla. Very tiny scoops, but what great flavors.
A branch of the famed bakery is near the hotel, so we stopped by for a butter loaf bread and sable (butter cookies). They are really good. I think Chez Denise serves the Poilane bread as well – it’s the dark rye colored ones.
13) Le Quartier du Pain (74 rue Saint-Charles)
5 minutes walk from hotel. Got some croissants and pan chocolat one day for breakfast. Very good.
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